Healing the Blind Beggar (Lk. 18:35-43)

Healing the Blind Beggar (Lk.18:35-43)

When you think in terms of numbers, of visible and tangible results, you soon come to the conclusion that Jesus Christ did not accomplish much during His life on earth.  For what do a mere twelve disciples add up to in a population of many thousands?  And what is the importance of healing one blind man compared with the countless blind people who never had any help?  In that way, the Gospel is full of riddles and things that don’t seem to make sense and that we can’t comprehend with our everyday intellect—things even that evoke ridicule and irritation in many of our contemporaries.  Why just this one blind man?  Was it only because he kept calling and praying, even when the bystanders wanted him to be quiet?

As long as we are only looking at outer reality we are facing riddles.  But blindness is not only a disorder of the eyes, but also of the heart.  And that disorder afflicts us all.  The healing of the blind man shows us what we are all lacking, and what we can do to be healed.

Most people are living in the illusion that they can see.  But our judgments, prejudices, our sympathies and antipathies make us blind for the reality in which we live.  We are really confronted with that when we get into a conflict.  Usually we think in such circumstances: I am right—the other is wrong.  And if both parties stick to their positions it becomes an unbridgeable impasse.  And when obdurate standpoints collide and bring about lifelong separations, the drama turns into a mystery drama that takes not years, but several lives before we are healed of our blindness.

The first step in this drama is the realization that we can at most see a little glimpse of reality.  The blind man sitting by the roadside calls out to us: “Become aware of your blindness, become a beggar for the spirit, pray to the Savior as long as it takes for Him to take pity on you and open your eyes to the mysteries of destiny and fate, of guilt and forgiveness.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, August 21, 2022

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